Chief Executive’s Introduction
Dear AOA Member,
Welcome to the AOA monthly update. It’s been quite a challenging time recently for airports – dealing with unpredictable and sometimes extreme weather while gearing up for and managing the busy Easter break. Thankfully all the hard work that staff put in to plan for such scenarios seems to have paid dividends as the vast majority of passengers were able to make their journeys as planned.
The Easter break also brought forward some challenges for the team here at AOA as the media took the opportunity to look again at the issue of disruptive passengers. There has been a good deal of progress in this area with airports, airlines and other industry partners working together – through the Industry Code of Practice – to find the right mix of solutions. This has delivered some success: figures suggest 2017 incident numbers were the same as in 2016, despite the significant growth in passengers during the same period. Nevertheless, DfT and Home Office Ministers are taking a keen interest in this, with pledges to take action if necessary through the Aviation Strategy and/or changes to licensing rules. You can read more about this further down in this update.
On the Aviation Strategy, we are of course still waiting for DfT to publish its initial findings from the “Call for Evidence” conducted last year. The Strategy is essential to provide a clear framework to support airports in their plans to accommodate anticipated growth in demand and provide the connectivity the UK economy needs. While it is important that Government gets this right, industry needs clarity urgently so that key decisions can be taken, and plans implemented, in a timely way. AOA will continue to press this message with Ministers and officials alike.
On Brexit, thankfully discussions are beginning to provide some limited clarity for industry. The agreement on Transition means that discussions on the future arrangements will soon being in earnest. AOA will be keeping members informed of developments via a regular Brexit Update – the first edition of which we expect to publish shortly.
Finally, I am pleased to let you know that bookings are now being taken for the AOA’s Security and Ops and Safety conferences which both take place at Slaley Hall on 30 April/1 May and 18/19 June respectively. We have an excellent range of topics being covered by first-rate speakers and I urge you to book your tickets early!
I hope you enjoy the rest of this update.